Throwing Up Foam: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Throwing up foam

Vomiting is a common health occurrence. It is the method your body uses to get rid of the undigested and possibly harmful substances.

Vomiting usually is not a cause for concern, but when you start throwing up foam, that can be quite serious.

In cases of excessive vomiting, your body produces a fluid to support digestion. This fluid mixes with the stomach acids and creates a foam. Also, the saliva can create a white foam when it combines with the acids in an empty stomach.

Because of this, when the urge to vomit occurs, your body starts throwing up white foam produced in your stomach. Let’s consider the common symptoms, causes, and treatments of throwing up foam.

Symptoms of Throwing Up Foam

Vomiting white foam can be a symptom of an illness or some other physical condition such as:

  • Bacterial Infection
  • Fungal Infection
  • Acid Reflux
  • Hiatal Hernia

These conditions attribute to the following symptoms.


When your body produces surplus acids in the stomach, it leads to irritation in the gastrointestinal tract called acidity. The stomach already secretes a regular amount of acid and bile.

It helps in digestion and throwing off harmful organisms that come with the food. However, when the stomach is empty, it tends to produce excess acid, causing acidity.

Acidity can also result from smoking, irregular lifestyle, stress, insomnia, etc. This acidity leads to throwing up foam.

2. Nausea

When you are experiencing problems in the stomach like food poisoning, indigestion, motion sickness, morning sickness (in pregnancy), etc., you feel like vomiting.

There is some discomfort in the upper wall of the stomach. This is nausea. Throwing up white foam can also happen after coughing due to the accumulation of mucus in the throat.

3. Stomach Ache

After vomiting, one might experience stomach ache as the gastrointestinal tract has gone through a lot of pressure. You might experience a feeling of bruising in the stomach along with ache. This can also lead to throwing up foam.

4. Vomit

Vomiting leads to throwing up foam. Defying gravity, the gastrointestinal tract emits substances from the body.

You might also end up throwing up bile which is yellow in color. After throwing up excessively, your body starts vomiting white foam.

5. Dehydration and Fatigue

Weakness triggers throwing up foam due to bacterial or yeast infection. Dehydration is the loss of essential liquids from the body. At times, vomiting white foam follows, as a result of dehydration.

Also Read: Stomach Gurgling: Common Causes and Home Treatments

Causes of Throwing up Foam

Throwing up foam is not always harmful, but it can be a symptom of certain health conditions.

Although this condition is most often not bothersome, it should not be ignored if the accompanying symptoms are severe. Let’s consider some reasons that lead to throwing up white foam. 

1. Vomiting with Empty Stomach

When you do not eat anything for long intervals, your intestine starts producing excess acids. This causes stomach irritation, and if you throw up, it may be accompanied by foam, causing further loss of the essential juices of the stomach.

2. Excessive Drinking

If you binge on alcohol, beyond the capacity of your intestines, your brain may give signals to vomit out bile.

This is in part due to the alcohol irritating your stomach lining. Moreover, you may throw up yellow liquid with white foam.

3. Food Poisoning

Throwing up foam due to food poisoning is one of the most common causes. This happens when the food or the water you have is stale or contains bacteria.

4. Helicobacter Pylori Infection

This infection is the underlying cause of throwing up foam. It relates to a bacterium that grows in the digestive tract.

Though this bacterium is present in its normal quantity in everyone, its imbalance causes stomach irritation and inflammation. This bacterial imbalance is due to eating in unsanitary places and eating without disinfecting hands.

5. Candida Albicans

This refers to yeast or fungal infection present in the mouth, intestinal tract, skin, and vagina. Normally, Candida aids in digestion. An imbalance of it harms the immune system and also the lining of the intestine.

This infection is not worrisome if you are blessed with a strong immune system. However, a weaker resistance power spreads Candida through the body affecting the heart and brain. A healthy lifestyle prevents the fungus overgrowth.

6. Intestine Blockage

If your intestines are blocked, you may vomit white foam. Blockage in the intestines can be due to the following reasons:

  • Adhesion

If you have undergone abdominal or pelvic surgery, you can develop scarring on your intestines, causing a blockage.

  • Cancer Tumor

If you have a tumor on your intestine, it can block them as well. It is also known as Colorectal cancer.

  • Diverticulitis

This is a condition where small blocks are formed as a wall against the intestine.

  • Hernia

With a hernia, your intestine grows bigger and bulges out of the abdomen or some other part of your body.

The diaphragm separates the chest and the abdomen. A small opening is typical as it supports the lower part of the esophagus. However, when the stomach can push through the opening, that is not normal and can create further problems.

  • Bowel Disease

If you are suffering from Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis, you can get swelling on your intestine.

  • Volvulus

This is a condition in which your intestines get twisted.

7. Acid Reflux

In this condition, the bile enters your stomach and esophagus from your liver. This usually happens after gastric surgery.

This condition is called bile reflux, and it causes throwing up foam. Bile reflux is different from acid reflux. Acid reflux causes acid entering your esophagus from your stomach. You can also be subject to both conditions simultaneously.

8. Medication

Medicines containing morphine and digitalis trigger the vomiting center in the brain.

Throwing Up Foam Treatment

Throwing up foam is usually treated with home remedies, and there is very rarely any need to see the doctor. However, you should take notice if the vomiting is accompanied by other symptoms such as severe abdominal pain or skin paling.

This signals other problems, and you need to see a doctor. You may be suffering from digestive problems or pancreatic or liver issues. Also, when you have a full stomach, and you only vomit foam, it is a matter of concern.

It can be a fungal or bacterial infection. Here are a few recommendations that work as a form of treatment for throwing up foam.

1. Diet

At times, vomiting white foam happens on an empty stomach or as a result of unhealthy eating habits. Empty stomachs cause acidity.

You should ensure that you are not going hungry. You have to eat small healthy portions throughout the day.

Even if you are dieting, eating is a must. An empty stomach creates acid that helps in digestion.

However, if there is no food inside, this acid gets accumulated internally, and through acid reflux, it will come out. You should also ensure the food you eat is bacteria free. Drinking enough water is also a must.

2. Physical Activity

A good workout helps you with digestion and keeps acidity at bay. With exercise, your intestines get stimulated, and your appetite also increases.

3. Home Remedies

Some home remedies work wonders in treating throwing up:

  • Regularly having raw almonds in the morning balances the pH level of the stomach.
  • One tablespoon of baking soda consumed with a glass of water cures acidity.
  • One tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass of water maintains the acid levels in the stomach.
  • Chamomile tea and Aloe Vera juice; both are effective in reducing stomach inflammation.

Hopefully, if you try the above treatment and maintain a healthy lifestyle, throwing up foam will not be a concern.

Read Next:

Vani, S., “Throwing up White Foam: Symptoms, Treatment, and Causes,” Heal Dove web site, March 22, 2017;
“Throwing up Foam,” MDDK web site, last accessed January 21, 2018;
Hill, E., “What can cause vomiting foam,” Wise Geek Health web site, last accessed on January 21, 2018;

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